Are you finding yourself doing the small things first, and procrastinating on the important tasks?
Let me guess, are you rushing yourself through things, always stressed, and still you do not have enough time to do the things that are important to you?
Why is that so?
1) Uncomfortable with the idea of saying no – when we get a lot of demands, requests and assignments from other people that are NOT related to our current project, we try to do everything at once.
First, we neglect our work.
Second, we get trapped into doing many things at once.
If we neglect our work, obviously nothing gets done, especially if you do not have other people to help you out with your project.
If we do many things at a time, we do multitasking. When we multitask, we lose our ability to get anything done, since it reduces our capacity to focus over longer period of time for better performance.
2) Getting a lot of distractions – that’s huge! We all know the tendency of getting distracted while working from home. We get too busy putting off fires, like crisis and emergencies that might regularly occur.
Now, there are two types of distractions:
2.1) Internal distractions – they are related to our internal dialogue, unproductive assumptions, worry, wonder, and new ideas.
We can get busy just by talking to ourselves a bunch of stuff. When we talk to ourselves, we are absorbed by our own world, and tasks, projects and activities do not get done, as a result of that.
Furthermore, unproductive assumptions like fears, procrastination and self-doubt can keep us busy from doing bigger tasks, which can move us forward in a faster pace.
Worry is when we think about a past conflict, we had with someone we care about. Simply, we can’t focus on our work completely, being busy creating irrational fantasies and symbols in our mind that are keeping us away from our work.
New ideas overwhelm us, because we take little or no action. So we get busy thinking of different ideas, our mind gets cluttered and get stressed out.
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2.2) External distractions – these come from other people and the environment, such as crisis, emergencies, noise producing objects, alerts, phone calls, emails, unexpected visits, etc.
Often, we get too busy checking emails, rather than doing our actual work. This wastes a lot of time, that’s why we get busy a lot, but accomplishing very little as a result of doing such activities.
Phone calls, when we are at home, sometimes we might talk on the phone with ours, having lengthy discussions and conversations, and simply being busy answering the phone, rather than doing the actual work within our business.
3) Poor time management – if we have no clue on how to organize our time, and actually do it, we are always going to be running in circles and being busy all the time.
That’s because we are NOT leveraging our available time and energy to get things done.
If you want to build a sustainable business, especially at the beginning, you need to develop solid time management skills to get the job done.
4) Lack of establishing priorities – if we have no clue which task is more important than another, we can be busy for the next 100 years and get almost nothing done.
In order to identify important tasks, you need to try out different activities first, and see which one of these activities upon completion would bring you’re the highest on results out of your time.
That’s why it is important to track your progress. Track individual activities and put a dollar value for each. It can be estimated. It does not have to be precise.
How much cash you are going to get from checking emails daily?
How much cash you are going to get from checking social media profiles and chatting?
How much cash… (okay, you get the idea).
Always do “money-making” activities that are relevant to your current project.
If you do “money-making” activities that are NOT related to your project, you are going to be jumping back and forth, and eventually nothing is going to give you any value.
The power of focus comes ONLY when you concentrate on one thing at a time.
5) Poor assessment of opportunities – we can get busy really quickly by getting into the “wrong opportunities” that are neither relevant to our project nor sustainable over time.
This is when we emphasize more on the short-term results we can get; rather than the long-term results potential.
Let me explain, short-term results are usually derived instantly, getting a quick shot of success. If we focus on the short-term results, you are going to hurt our long-term results potential, because they both are usually opposite.
Long-term potential, on the other hand, is the ability to delay gratification and instant results, in order to enjoy much better profits over LONGER period of time.
Most people focus on short-term opportunities that are usually leading to a dead-end in a long-term perspective, such as timely opportunities that are no longer valuable after a certain period of time.
6) Focus versus concentration – busyness does not come from focusing on one thing at a time. It usually comes from concentrating on different things at once.
Focus is the ability to work for longer periods of time on a single task.
Concentration is the ability to work on tasks over a short period of time. Both words, “focus and concentrations” are simply used within this context. They are just words that can mean different things to different people.
I just want to emphasize the distinction between doing one thing and getting involved in many things.
We get busy, and nothing is accomplished if we do many things at once, known as multitasking.
7) Doing the small things first – the first tendency as we wake up in the morning is to do the small, easy and irrelevant stuff. They are often not important and insignificant to our current project.
That’s the best way to be too busy, but accomplish very little.
Small tasks tend to multiply. That’s because behind every small task, there are extensions of it that lead to another task. If we get engaged at one small task, it requires checking out another task that’s related to this small task. This goes on and on.
Think of small and insignificant tasks as a domino effect. You push the first domino, and the rest fall back in order.
Once you push the first domino, you can’t stop the rest from falling over. So we get busy doing second, third, fourth, etc., domino that’s triggered as a result of doing the first.
The first small task triggers all sorts of other tasks that are either associated with it, or sequential to it.
So The Question Is, “How Not To Be Busy, And Accomplish A Lot More?”
There are ways to do LESS and accomplish a lot MORE, because it does not matter how busy you are in order to be more productive. Here are some ways to do more with less work.